Future of cash in Switzerland is bright even as cashless payments become more important

SNB released a new CHF 100 note and its chief gave a speech.

He says cash and digital cash are complementary:

The digital transformation taking place in our economy is also affecting developments in the payments arena. As part of its statutory mandate, the SNB must not only ensure the supply and distribution of cash but also facilitate and secure the operation of cashless payment systems. A well-functioning payment system is critical for our economy.

Technological progress is also changing customers’ expectations and needs in terms of  cashless payments – for instance as regards speed and user-friendliness. In this area too, the SNB is a participant in innovation. Specifically, we are ensuring that Swiss Interbank Clearing (SIC) – our country’s powerful infrastructure for transacting cashless payments in Swiss francs – continues to work quickly and efficiently and thus remains as attractive as possible.

Promoting and ensuring both the supply of cash and the smooth functioning of cashless payments is no contradiction. The various payment methods satisfy the differing needs of our population. Our latest survey on payment methods, published in May 2018, showed that the public’s use of – and affinity for – cash remains high. It also confirmed that the Swiss population like to be given the choice between paying cashless or paying with notes and coins.

Banknote circulation in our country has increased steadily in recent years. Cash is used and valued for a variety of reasons, and not just out of habit or reluctance to adopt new technology. Cash can be used everywhere and is less dependent on technical infrastructure. Cashless payments are likely to become more important over time. I am nevertheless convinced that the future of cash, and thus of our new banknote series, is bright.


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